So what is with this “new” headline that wipes cause skin rashes? Well the truth is this isn’t new information. It is just new to the U.S.
When I was registering for baby care products during pregnancy I was really picky. I wanted to reduce the chemicals I’d be exposing J to. Some people told me I was overreacting and that any baby product would do. But I knew in my gut all the chemicals couldn’t be good. I did more research and discovered that Europe banned over 1,000 chemicals from health and skin care products because they are known toxins and carcinogens. The U.S. FDA has banned less than a dozen. That is hundreds of known toxic chemicals that we expose ourselves to daily in soap, shampoo, make-up, lotion, etc. Knowing this, I made an effort to select more natural skin care choices for my family.
But it is everywhere. So what can we do about it?
My family chose to cloth diaper, use cloth wipes, select natural products, and read lots of labels. But not everyone has the time or desire to do these things.
Here are some options to reduce your exposure and make healthier selections without losing your mind!
1. Consider making your own wipes (cloth or disposable!) For a simple recipe try Cave Mama’s Wipe Solution.
2. Don’t have the time or desire to make your own wipes? Need a disposable option on occasion? Select a fragrance-free wipe with as few chemicals as you can find. We like Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes. Rinse store bought disposable wipes under tap water. Rinse until you no longer have suds running down. Wring them out well and return to the wipe container. It isn’t a perfect solution and still does expose your child to some chemicals but it does cut down on the amount of solution you are exposing your child to.
3. Consider cloth diapers. They are better for your baby’s bottom and the environment. They do not have the harsh chemicals that are found in regular disposable diapers (yes chemicals are in those too!)
4. Can’t even begin to fathom using cloth diapers? Try using a more natural, wood pulp, chlorine and fragrance free diaper. We use Seventh Generation diapers overnight. I was skeptical when we switched from Pampers because I was afraid they would leak but they work just as well and seem to hold just as much. And he no longer wakes up with that chemical urine smell. Win, win!
5. Select natural diaper rash creams. You may be surprised to find that by switching to less chemical laden diapers and wipes the need for cream will be little to none. But for day-to-day pink spots or as a preventative measure try using coconut or olive oil. For more significant rashes try using something natural like Earth Mama, Angel Baby’s Bottom Balm. Burt’s Bees and California Baby also make a more natural line of diaper rash creams.
6. Select baby care products (soaps, lotions, etc) that are free of toxic chemicals. Earth Mama Angel Baby and Burt’s Bees both make some wonderful products as do a few other companies.
7. Run your products by the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. It gives a quick overview of the chemicals in each product and ranks the product based on overall toxicity. It is an easy way to get a snapshot of your choices without needing to do a ton of research or read lots of labels. Then you can decide what is important to you!
8. Consider making these changes for the entire family, not just your baby’s sensitive skin. We could all benefit from less chemicals in our lives.
These are just some of the choices we make to cut down on chemicals. We often get compliments on J’s skin for being so clear and soft. We have never had diaper rash (other than some pink spots that clear right up). Maybe he just has good skin genes. Maybe it is our product choices. Either way, we are glad to be reducing the chemicals in our life, making choices that feel right for our family and the environment.